Get to Know Your Smile

Our teeth are extremely important to us. We use them to chew and they play a big part in forming the shape of your mouth and consequently your entire face. Your teeth make up your smile which is crucial for helping you make a good first impressions on others. Yet many people can’t tell the difference a bicuspid and which is an incisor. So let’s learn about the four different types of teeth with Dr. Byron C. Desbordes, a skilled and professional dentist from Baltimore, MD.

Primary vs. Secondary Teeth

Humans will have two sets of teeth in our lifetimes: the primary teeth and the secondary teeth. The primary teeth are called “baby teeth” by many people because they are the first teeth we grow, beginning to come in when we are only about six months old. The primaries are usually all in place by the time we reach three years of age. The secondary teeth, more commonly known as the “adult teeth”, begin growing in as the primary teeth begin to fall out. This process usually occurs between the ages of six and twelve years old.

The average adult person usually has 32 teeth but they are not all identical. Your teeth have different shapes and jobs based on where they are located. They can be thought of as being like the players on your favorite football team: each has plays their own position but they work as a team.

The Types of Teeth

Incisors: These eight teeth are found at the very front of your mouth. We have four incisors on the bottom and four on top and are primarily used for biting off pieces of food.

Canines: Named after the fangs of a canine (dog) due to their sharp, pointed appearance, these teeth are used to rip and tear food. We have four canines, two on top and two on the bottom, one on either side of our incisors.

Bicuspids: These teeth, also known as premolars, are used for chewing and grinding foods. We have four bicuspids, two on the top and two on the bottom, one on either side of the canine teeth.

Molars: These flat-topped teeth, also used for chewing and grinding, grow at the rear of your mouth, four on top and four on the bottom, two on each side. Molars are an area that frequently experience tooth decay due the fact that they are crucial for chewing but can be difficult to clean thoroughly. Many people also grow third molars, more commonly referred to as “wisdom teeth” due to their late arrival (late teens to early twenties). Four third molars will erupt, one each side, top and bottom. Wisdom teeth that do not emerge are diagnosed as impacted and require a surgical procedure to remove. These are also prone to tooth decay due to their location at the very rear of the mouth.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Baltimore, MD

Now that you know a little more about your teeth, you will be better able to communicate with Dr. Desbordes when you may be having a problem. For example, if you experience pain in the top front of your mouth when you bite, you may have an issue with one of your top incisors. At the very least, hopefully you now appreciate the roles your teeth play in chewing on your food. It’s been said that a good team is only as strong as its weakest player. This is why it’s important to schedule regular cleanings and exams with Dr. Desbordes in Baltimore, MD. To schedule call (410) 216-4023 or request an appointment online.